S215 Perceptions of Safety and its Gendered Differences: An Exploratory Analysis of Severe Weather Reactions

Sunday, 10 January 2016
Hall E ( New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center)
Shadya J. Sanders, Howard Univ., NCAS, Washington, DC; and T. Adams and E. Joseph

Residents of the United States are likely to see a wide variety of weather hazards throughout the year, and each weather phenomenon comes with its own warning method, and subsequent protective action, if any. In the previous five years alone, nearly 3,000 residents have lost their lives in a weather related situation. Many of these fatalities could have been prevented, and millions of dollars in lost productivity and property damages saved.

While technology has advanced and forecasting becomes increasingly accurate, the understanding of the public's reactions to and understanding of weather information has not yet reached its potential. The goals and wishes of the public varies greatly and is consistently changing, so it is necessary to explore what these differences are in order to understand the direction meteorological forecasting needs to take. Residents of the United States are incredibly diverse, and gender is just a single point of differences residents hold. Previous research has shown differences in fatality rates during hurricanes and tornadoes, as well as the likelihood of taking protective action.

A mixed methods approach is used combining meteorological forecast analyses as well as a sociological approach utilizing focus groups, interviews, and survey responses. This exploratory analysis will provide crucial first steps at the gendered differences held relating to feelings of safety during a severe weather situation.

This research is funded by NCAS, NOAA Center for Atmospheric Research at Howard University.

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